Skip to main content

Best phone 2021: the top 15 smartphones you can buy in the US right now

Image 1 of 5

iPhone SE review

(Image credit: TechRadar)
Image 2 of 5

iPhone SE review

(Image credit: TechRadar)
Image 3 of 5

iPhone SE review

(Image credit: TechRadar)
Image 4 of 5

iPhone SE review

(Image credit: TechRadar)
Image 5 of 5

iPhone SE review

(Image credit: TechRadar)

7. iPhone SE (2020)

The cheapest new iPhone for 2020

Specifications
Release date: April 2020
Weight: 148g
Dimensions: 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3mm
OS: iOS 13
Screen size: 4.7-inch
Resolution: 1134 x 750
CPU: A13 Bionic
RAM: 3GB
Storage: 64/128/256GB
Battery: 1,821mAh
Rear camera: 12MP
Front camera: 7MP
Reasons to buy
+Low price for an iPhone+One-hand-friendly and light+Has the Touch ID home button
Reasons to avoid
-Battery life could be better-Old screen technology

The iPhone SE 2020 is the sequel to the one-hand-friendly iPhone from 2016, and it takes the power and specs we loved from the iPhone 11 series and crams them into the design of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8.

Why it's ranked 7th: This isn't Apple's most powerful iPhone, but it's the best value for people who want to stick with iOS 13 without paying through the nose. Its screen technology won't wow you like an iPhone 11 Pro, and there's just one camera on the back, but starting $399 means this is hard to be if you're on a budget and don't want to switch to Android. 

Screen: This new iPhone SE has a 4.7-inch screen borrowed from the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8, so it's bigger than the original iPhone SE, but remains one-hand-friendly. That's become important for people who have been demanding a smaller phone. This is the one to get, even if the resolution and bezel won't wow anyone.

Battery life: As long as you aren't a power user (who would likely opt for the iPhone 11 series anyway), then you'll be OK with what Apple offers in terms of battery life. It's not going to last you any longer than a day, though, with generally the same amount of power as we saw on the iPhone 8, which had a 1,821mAh battery capacity.

Camera: For the money, the iPhone SE 2020 takes perfectly fine photos in good light. You won't notice much of a difference outside of it occasionally failing to nail perfect exposure levels and depth of field outdoors during the daytime. Dim the lights, however, and you'll notice one glaring omission: the night mode that's on the more powerful iPhones. That requires an upgrade to at least the iPhone 11.

Read our iPhone SE review